I don’t think beauty is universal. I believe beauty is everywhere and that we all perceive certain things as beautiful, but the magnificent object that takes your breath away is different from what leaves me in wonder.
There are a multitude of articles, books and papers about what beauty is – the Golden Rectangle, symmetry, harmony, or defying definition, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I, myself, lean towards the latter. I am well known to fall helplessly in love with a passing bulldog, a breed, by nature, so ugly they’re beautiful.
To me beauty is simple. Elegant. (Well, perhaps not the bulldog.) It’s well designed. (Again, perhaps not the bulldog. 😉 ) It’s appealing to your soul and your senses. Something joyful to behold. A piece of music, a vase, a painting, a piece of furniture, a silk scarf. They are things we like to have around us. They give us pleasure. They make us feel good.
To give us pleasure, though, the object of our attention doesn’t have to be something bought. There are many magnificent things in the world around us. A sunset or sunrise, a quiet lake, clouds, the call of a loon. In an urban environment? A hidden laneway, a skyscraper, the city skyline, the colour of house, door or window.
One of my favourite beautiful things are peonies. They are such beautiful flowers. Fragrant, delicate, huge blooms. Whether in the garden or in a vase, they are glamourous. Every year, I am excited to watch them morph from the tight, hard globes to massive flowers spread out like tutus on Degas’ ballerinas. Every stage, sheer delight.
Of course, it doesn’t have to be a thing at all. You, your family, friends, and even strangers, can be wonderful sources of great beauty. A kind gesture, a baby’s laugh, a smile.
I think, though, that we forget sometimes, to feel the feelings these things create. We’re so busy and life is so hectic, it’s easy to ignore the allure of our favourite things – too busy, no time. But you know it only takes a moment to savour the pleasure these things. That moment can be the best of the day. Treat yourself. Seek them out, if need be. Stop and enjoy.
What’s beautiful for you? What gives you pleasure? Share your beautiful treasures in the comments below. We would love to hear all about what makes you smile.